Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday! This week's Top 5 topic is your Top 5 Favorite Maps. A lot of books feature beautiful maps on the inside covers, so I had a lot to consider while contemplating this week's topic. I ended up picking 4 books, and I'll tell you why I didn't pick 5. As I said before, there are lot of books with beautiful maps in the inside covers, but most times I admire them for a little while, and then just end up flipping past them. The maps don't really hold that much importance to the actual story. Sure, they're pretty to look at, but they are kind of meaningless in the grand scheme of things. For this week's topic, I wanted to pick maps that I thought really added to their overall stories, and I ended up with 4 maps that I think fit that criteria. Sometimes I think I overthink these Top 5 Wednesdays or end up going way off track, but oh well. So here are my picks for my Top 4 Favorite Maps:
4. Leviathan (Leviathan #1) by Scott Westerfeld: This was a last minute add on to my list and I mainly added it just because of how pretty the map is. The artwork in this series is just so pretty to sit and admire. The artwork is actually pretty instrumental to the story. Not only are the maps beautiful in this series, but they are also useful. Because one of our main characters is a prince, you can actually view the location of his kingdom. This map is also further illustrated with cool extras like monsters in the landscapes. This series just has really eye catching art that translates into cool illustrations and beautiful maps.
3. Gone (Gone #1) by Michael Grant: This is probably one of the least adorned maps in this list, but I would argue that it's one of the most useful. Every map in the series is the same map, detailing the same area where the story takes place. I found this map so useful for flipping back to to see where some characters were in relation to others. A lot of times, I find maps to just be pretty pictures of landmasses, but don't have any real meaning to the story I'm reading, this map is the complete opposite of that. It's not the prettiest map, but it's the most useful. You get all the important bits of Perdido Beach and have a great visual understanding of where the craziness is going down.
2. The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (Hero's Guide #1) by Christopher Healy: I love this series so much! This is a series that has great illustrations too, Todd Harris and his drawings add so much fun to this series. This map is also useful. Our four princes are from different kingdoms and the maps in this book help to see where each Prince is from and how far apart they are in relation to each other.
1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) by J.K. Rowling: This one might be off the beaten path, but I contend that this is one of the best maps ever in a book series. Some of you may be thinking, what map in Harry Potter? It doesn't have any maps in it's end pages. I think I would have noticed a beautiful map of Hogwarts. And that map is... The Marauders' Map! It wins for most useful, it wins for best backstory, and it wins for being able to interact with and make fun of snoopy Potions Masters. It's the best map ever!
So those are my Top 4 Favorite Maps. What are your favorite maps? Did you pick your maps based on their visual appeal, usefulness, or both? Let me know because I'm genuinely curious. If you want to join in on the Top 5 Wednesday fun, you totally should. Each Wednesday is a fun, new topic to consider. Check out all the other Top 5 Wednesday-ers here!